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We looked each other in the eye as the priest read from his missal. I blushed like a teenager when Clyde winked and I felt my legs wobble when he bit his lips, talk about liquid torture. I gave him my ‘I’ll- deal-with-you- later’ look and he smiled. We were too engrossed in our reverie that the priest had to clear his throat to get our attention.

Clyde’s vows made my eyes water and I could hear other sniffing too. It was my turn and I felt jittery. 

I promise to…’ 
I was cut in mid-sentence by the loud report of a gun. I fell and sank into complete darkness
The children read the piece their mother had left on her reading table. 
‘Why does mother never write of happy endings?’ Taffy asked her twin. 
‘Maybe it’s because she’s always sad inside’, he replied. 
‘It won’t hurt if we change a teeny-weeny detail would it?’ She asked again and he nodded as she picked her mother’s fountain pen.
I was stirring my cup of tea in the kitchen when everything turned blue. I knew this sign too well. My world like a chocolate bar on heating melted before my eyes and spun rapidly. No, it had happened again. It had to be my children. If only they knew they were ink and not blood, they wouldn’t have altered that story!
Ans then I stood at a makeshift altar again in my A-line dress I had inherited from mother. Hello Clyde, I said and nodded to the priest to continue.
I had heard Clyde repeat this same vow thrice (this was the third tome my story had been altered) but his vows made me cry. 
It was my turn and I waited for something bad to happen. I turned to look at my mother and she urged me on with her eyes. Clyde, I said. 
‘I promise to…’ 
And there was a bang. 
I jumped and turned to see my dramatic grandma make a grand entrance with a team of drummers. She blew air kisses and I breathed in to calm myself. 
Clyde chuckled.
‘Clyde’, I said again. ‘I promise to never let us do this again. I guess happy-ever-afters never hurt anybody.’ 
He looked confused and excited. Let him be, he’d never understand. I closed my eyes and felt our noses brush before his lips met mine.
Silently, I blessed Taffy in my heart.
– Ude Ugo

30, a collection of poems by Jaachi Anyatonwu
Jaachị Anyatọnwụ
Jaachị Anyatọnwụ is a poet, editor, and publisher living in the suburbs of Aba. He is the author of numerous poetry chapbooks and collections, and the Editor-In-Chief of Poemify Publishers Inc. Jaachị is passionate about discovering new voices and mentoring emerging poets. He is also a fierce advocate for the boy child and sexually molested.

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